Cacti Art Upcycle

Hey everyone!

I have a not so typical upcycle to share today!

cacti art

I found this 3Dish art piece at a thrift shop a bit ago… the fact that it was featuring cacti meant I had to buy it…. it was only $15… but I wasn’t a fan of the pinkish brown frame it came in. It made it look way too pastely, and I also felt like it needed a little something else added to it.

before

After some thought, I decided I wanted to add a subtle geometric border to the piece. I picked shapes that were already in the piece, and a light silver color so it wouldn’t over power the original part.

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I then spray painted the frame white. I feel this really freshened the piece up, and kept the focus on the actual art.

after

What do you think??

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I like it much better!

The Whale's Endeavors

-The Whale

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5 DIY Gift Ideas from TWE

Hello, everyone!

Tis the season. If you’re looking to save a bit of money this holiday season, or maybe you’re just into giving things with a personal, heartfelt touch, give one of these DIYs a try!

easy adjustable loom diy
Make an adjustable loom and create unique weavings for friends and family!

color block cover
Create cute color block bracelets.

Custom flask DIY
Everyone could use a custom flask in their life!

DIY Studded Hair Pins
Any girl would love studded hair pins!

Cat shirt diy
Cat shirts are always a win!

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season!

-The Whale

Featuring: Irving Harper

Today I’m doing another featured artist post! Check out Irving Harper!
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Harper is a well known industrial designer who’s career spanned from the 1930s to 1983. You’ve probably encountered a lot of his designs without even knowing it, but I’m not here to share his career designs with you, I’m here to share his paper sculptures!

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After his retirement, Harper took to creating paper sculptures as a hobby to keep himself occupied. He has now (at 96 years old!) created around 300 of these sculptures, which are all on display in his own home.

Take a look at a few of them!

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PaperOwl

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The owl is his last completed work, and is by far my favorite! You can see a bit more as well as acquire additional information in this article.

-The Whale

Sriracha Mustard Brussel Sprouts

Hey, Everyone!

New recipe to share today!
Sriracha Mustard Sprouts

I was first introduced to brussel sprouts in my college cooking class. I had never tried them before. This was mainly because they were one of those veggies deemed “gross” by a lot of people. Kind of like spinach (which I think is great). Well this one day in college, I was required to try them, and you know what? I LOVED them! Ever since then I’ve been making them in different variations pretty regularly. This recipe, however, is inspired by the recipe that originally caused me to fall in love with them.

You need

You Need:
-1 Cup of Fresh (or frozen) Brussel Sprouts
-1 Clove of Garlic, minced
-1 1/2 Tablespoon of Brown Mustard
-1/2 Tablespoon of Sriracha Sauce
-1/4 Teaspoon of Onion Powder (or 1 T of minced onion)
-2 Tablespoons of Butter

One:
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Bring a pot of water (enough to cover all the sprouts) to a boil. Add the sprouts and cook until they are tender and bright green. Strain out the water.

Two:
Mix
While the sprouts are cooking, combine the butter, garlic, sriracha, mustard, and onion powder.

Three:
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Add the (still hot) spouts to the seasoned butter mixture. Toss until all the butter is melted and the sprouts are covered. That’s it!

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I seriously make these all the time! I love the combination of tangy and slightly spicy you get from the mustard and sriracha!

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-The Whale

Spicy Sweet Potato Burgers with Onion Slaw

Hey, everyone!

Delicious recipe today! Like really, I think this may be one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever posted… and that’s saying a lot!

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Spicy sweet potato burgers with onion slaw! A little spicy. A little sweet, and a bit of tang! All the good things balanced into one thing!

You Need:
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-2 large sweet potatoes
-1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
-1/3 cup flour
-1 egg
-1/8 cup sriracha hot sauce
-1 tsp paprika
-1 tsp onion powder
-1/4 tsp seasoning salt
-olive oil for cooking
For the onion slaw:
-1 medium sweet onion, sliced
-About 1/2 head of nappa cabbage
-1/2 cup Sour Cream
-Salt & Pepper to taste

One:
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Wash your sweet potatoes and pierce each one on all sides with a fork. Bake in the microwave for 6 minutes. Flip over the potatoes and bake for 6 more minutes. Remove them from the microwave and slice them open. Allow them to cool for a bit until they are easier to handle.

Two:
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Scoop out the flesh of the potatoes into a bowl. Mash them until they are smooth. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Place the mixture in the fridge for about a half hour. I found this made forming the patties so much easier!

Three:
While the mixture is cooling, prepare the onion slaw. Slice the onion and cabbage so they are roughly the same sized slices. Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the onion. Saute it for a minute or two before adding the cabbage. Cook until the veggies are tender, adding salt and pepper to taste. Remove to a bowl and mix in the sour cream. Set aside until the burgers are done.

Four:
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Use about 1/4 cup of the mixture to form balls. This mixture is kind of sloppy, so I decided this was much easier than making patties.

Five:
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Heat some olive oil in a frying pan. Place one of the balls into the heated oil. Allow it to fry for a few seconds before using a spatula to smash it down into a patty about 1/4″ thick. This method really helped the patties hold their form. Cook the patty on one side for two or three minutes, then gently flip it over and cook the other side. Remove to a plate covered with a paper towel to drain off excess oil. Add more olive oil to the skillet before you repeat with each of the mixture balls.

Six:
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Assemble each burger by placing a patty on a bun followed by some sliced avocado. Top with a generous portion of onion slaw.sp_done
Yum!!! Hope you guys love it as much as I do! It would be a great dinner for meatless Monday!

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-The Whale

Mini Magnetic Wine Cork Planters

Hello all!

Today I want to share a quick little project with everyone!

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I made mini wine cork planters! These are so unbearably cute and easy to make!

You Need:
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-Wine Corks
-Magnets
-Exacto Knife
-Tiny Plants (I used mini cacti!)
-Planting Soil (like a tiny bit)
-Tacky or Hot Glue
-Paint Markers (optional)

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First thing’s first, you must hollow out a small hole for the plant to go in. I used an exacto knife to carve out the tiny hole. I carved about a half inch into the cork.

Now if you want to paint your planters, it is time. I painted about half of them just to keep it interesting. Basically just on the more ‘boring’ corks.

Once the paint is dry (if you painted), go ahead and glue a magnet to the back of each one. After the glue is dry (and I learned the hard way: waiting for the glue to dry is important) add a pinch of soil and a drop of water to the hole you carved out, then go ahead and add the tiny plant!

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SO CUTE! Mine are hanging out on my fridge for now, but I think it would be cute to have some on my dry erase board!

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-The Whale

Featuring: April Deacon

Hello, everyone!

I haven’t done a featured artist piece in some time. That partially has to do with the fact that I haven’t had a ton of time to look into new artist lately… but then I came across April Deacon.

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Deacon’s works captivate and inspire me. She uses (mainly) old photographs, specifically portraits, which she finds in various stores, and then ‘resurrects’ them with acrylic paints.

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She tends to use bold colors and geometric patterns in most of her work. That’s probably a lot of the reason that I love her art. Geometric is huge in my life right now!

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“I collect discarded memories, then reinvent them.” -April Deacon

I also love how she goes about gaining inspiration. Deacon comes up with stories for the photograph about the people in them. She uses these stories to create her art.

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” to be forgotten

perhaps the greatest tragedy to befall a human life
all of the joy and love, all of the pain and suffering, all of the memories, all of the contributions, all of the work
erased
as if those experiences never occurred, never meant anything to anyone
how many are there?
the forgotten certainly outnumber the remembered
terrifying
the possibility of living an entire life only to be forgotten

comforted
only in the knowledge that energy inhabits all of us
and
energy
does
not
die”

-april deacon
decodandetail

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Check out more of her awesome works here!

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-The Whale

Easy Cat Shirt DIY

Hey, everyone!

I haven’t done a DIY in a while… it’s also gotten rather warm here in Cincinnati. Both of these things inspired me to come up with this little project just for you all!

Cat shirt diy

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty into this whole cat clothing trend… I’m not ashamed to admit I own about sixish cat related clothing items. I don’t really plan on preventing it from expanding either. That’s just me though. Maybe you’re not crazy like me.

Anyways, I started out with a simple white t-shirt (like one of the ones that come in a three pack at Walmart) and some fun fabric. Of course you don’t have to make a cat shirt. It can be anything really. I made something similar using a heart shape last summer!

You need

You need:
-T-shirt
-Fun Fabric
-Thread
-Pins
-Scissors
-Sewing Machine (unless you feel like sewing by hand!)

One:
cut neckline
First thing you need to do is cut a new neckline. I wanted my shirt to be kind of off the shoulder, so I cut it wide. I also wanted shorter sleeves, so I cut those as well.

Two:
pin hems
Pin down a hem for the neckline (and the sleeves if you’re cutting them!) Make sure you do this with the shirt inside out.
Three:
hem
Now use your sewing machine to stitch down the hem!

Four:
draw and cut
Draw the cat (or other shape) on the back of your patterned fabric, and then cut it out.

Five:
pin cat
Pin the cat to your shirt! Make sure you only pin it to the front layer of fabric.

Six:
stitch cat
Now it’s time to stitch on the cat. I used a zig-zag stitch and went around the entire shape twice. This will make sure your cat is definitely secure, and keep the fabric from unraveling too much.

DONE!:
all done!
Gaze at your work in awe!
cat shirt

I love this shirt a lot, and not just because it’s cat related. I love the breezy and laid back fit it has to it as well! If any of you make this DIY I’d love to see the results!

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-The Whale

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Interior Design Magazine February

Hello, everyone!

I haven’t done one of these in a while… I’m a bit disappointed in myself for that…. but better late than never, right?

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I really liked the February issue! It was pretty hard to pick my favorite projects out of this one, but here’s what I finally decided!

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This is the PanAtlantic Exploration Company designed by Mayfield and Ragni Studio in Houston, TX. The thing I loved the most about this project is the combination of the organic stump furniture and artwork with the clean, white, contemporary design. The reception desk is meant to mimic a geode rock. The organic components really add a wonderful texture and variation to the space.
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I also love the way the art was selected to add some color to the space, without being overpowering. The ceiling is a fantastic feature as well. The wavy ‘fins’ cover a series of power efficient LEDs. The idea was to give the feeling of being under the ocean, which adds to the organic nature theme of the space.

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Another of my favorite featured projects is the The Chronicles of Catalonia. I can’t get over the way the pool is so seamlessly integrated into the house, and also how the whole set up seems so natural. It belongs in that forest just as much as the trees do! The whole design was done by Sausriballonch Architects, and is located in Santa Pau, Spain. When the homeowners purchased the home, it was a small lava stone structure. The architects dug out under it to add the dinning room and pool.

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One of my favorite things about this house (besides the whole being part of nature thing) is the lighting! Maybe I’m slighting partial to it because I work in a lighting store, but that is beside the point! I’ve always felt the Artemide Castores looked a bit alien, but the way they’ve been used in this house is wonderful! They contrast the natural wood and stone finishes, but in the best way possible.

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I love how the guest bathroom’s shower is completely made up of concrete. It has a great texture! (I’m a big fan of mixing textures if you didn’t notice…)

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One thing that was important to the homeowners was that the architect’s keep the original home’s lava stonewalls in tact. This feature is then seamlessly incorporated into the building’s new design. Once again, I love the natural, organic attribute this adds to the space…. And also the texture! (oh surprise!)

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Alrighty, my final favorite pick for this issue is the Andaz Maui resort in Hawaii by Rockwell Group. I can’t get enough of this staircase! The curve and wood grain are just phenomenal….

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A factor that was important when designing this resort was to make it feel like… well…. Hawaii. What better way to do that than by including a lounge area with sand?? I would love to sit there with my feet in the sand while sipping something tropical. I also enjoy the walnut beams on the ceiling, and all the vertical elements that were included in the design.

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This image is of one of the villas. I really like the textures added with the wool rug and the lighting fixture over the table!

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The pendants in the business center are amazing….

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So are the ones over the kitchen islands in the event center. I also love the large wood grain in the cabinets!

Okay, moving onto my favorite new products!

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1Chiaozzo’s Geometric Shelving:
I’ve been pretty big on geometric patterns lately. I love these shelves! They’re made up of different kinds of painted wood, and come in such fun colors!

2. Restoration Hardware’s Spartan Daybed:
I would like nothing better than sit by the pool all day with a good book in one of these….

3. Tai Ping’s new Chroma Collection:
I’ve been pretty into watercolors lately. I love how messy and abstract they can be while still feeling so light. These rugs are just wonderful.

Well, there you have it! Be sure to check out Interior Design Magazine’s website for more information on any of the things I talked about in this post!

On a completely unrelated note, The Whale’s Endeavor’s has been featured on the wonderful Jillian’s blog, ReFashionista, as a Reader Refash! Her blog was a huge inspiration for me, so I suggest you check her out!

-The Whale

Bench Refashion

Oh hello.

I have a new project to share with everyone!
bench refashion

I came across this cute little bench at a flea market over the summer for only $8! For months it sat in my parent’s garage as I waited to find the time to make it into what I had envisioned.
before

Finally I found some time, so I proceeded to paint the bench a nice off-white. I planed on putting the bench in my kitchen, and I wanted it to be neat and fresh. After the paint was applied and the bench was transported to my kitchen, it was buried under odds and ends and mail as I waited to find the time to sew up some appropriate cushions. I had the perfect fabric already…
fabric
Lovely vintage fabric! I love the color and the print!
So a month or two after being moved to my kitchen, I have finally completed it all!
after
Bench

I really love the result! No more acting as a storage table; the bench now serves as a quiet little sitting area by my window. It’s a rather nice place for coffee and a bagel in the morning!

-The Whale